Sustainable Finance

The challenges posed by the impact of climate change and social developments in our societies and supply chains are huge. Responding to these will require dedicated funding of sustainability initiatives. In this section of the report we provide an overview on our sustainability bond as well as on our approach to comply with the requirements of the EU Taxonomy that has the objective to channel investments in the right direction.


In 2020, adidas successfully placed its first sustainability bond. Proceeds from the offering are used in accordance with our created Sustainability Bond Framework. adidas has committed to provide annual updates on the allocation of proceeds and the impact KPIs driven by the proceeds. See Treasury

The following summary outlines selected environmental and social impact KPIs in accordance with chapter 7 ‘Reporting’ of the ‘adidas Sustainability Bond Framework.’ The proceeds listed in the Allocation Report have contributed to these impact KPIs.

Sustainability bond: impacts











Eligible category: sustainable materials





Impact of investment or expenditure into using more sustainable materials





Percentage of recycled polyester used for adidas apparel and footwear ranges1





Percentage of more sustainable cotton sourced





Number of pairs of shoes produced containing ‘Parley Ocean Plastic’


> 17m


> 15m






Eligible category: sustainable processes





Impact of investment or expenditure into improving our operations by establishing more sustainable processes





Absolute annual CO2e Scope 1 and Scope 2 net emissions (in tons) in own operations2





Number of buildings4 of own operations holding certification for environmental management (ISO 14001)/health and safety management (ISO 45001)/energy management (ISO 50001)










Eligible category: community engagement





Impact of investment or expenditure (on a global and local level) from actively supporting and positively impacting communities





Number of funded ventures for ‘Black Ambition,’ a program that supports Black and LatinX entrepreneurs in launching start-up businesses





Number of grants for Black-owned small businesses as part of ‘BeyGOOD,’ an initiative aimed at bringing equity to those disproportionately impacted by social and racial injustice





Number of scholarships granted to students at adidas’ HBCU partner schools as part of adidas’ ‘United Against Racism’ ambition






Percentage share of recycled polyester in 2021 excluding Reebok.


Own operations include administrative offices, distribution centers, production sites and retail stores. Excluding Reebok.


2020 data not comparable due to new and increased scope in 2021 (addition of retail stores). 2020 absolute annual CO2e Scope 1 and Scope 2 net emissions in own operations (administrative offices, distribution centers, production sites): 26,756 tCO2e, including Reebok.


At year-end.


Grants distribution for Black-owned small businesses as part of ‘BeyGOOD’ which is managed by a third party postponed to 2022.


Over the course of 2020 and 2021, the EU has developed and issued the EU Taxonomy Regulation. In order to direct investments toward sustainable projects and activities that support the achievement of the EU’s climate and energy as well as the ‘European Green Deal’ targets, the taxonomy has the objective to provide a common language and a clear definition of what is considered ‘sustainable.’

The Delegated Regulation on Article 8 of the taxonomy specifies the content, methodology, and presentation of information to be disclosed by financial and non-financial undertakings concerning the proportion of environmentally sustainable economic activities in their business, investments, or lending activities.

Based on the current publications, the main economic activities of our industry sector are not classified as taxonomy-eligible1 with regard to the first two environmental objectives, climate change mitigation and climate change adaptation, as laid out in the Delegated Regulation on Climate. Details on the remaining four environmental objectives are expected to be published in 2022. Due to the first application of the EU Taxonomy Regulation, there are still considerable uncertainties with regard to the interpretation of its components. We are well aware of these circumstances and provide further details on the interpretation where necessary. Due to the timing and resources required to create the adidas Annual Report 2021, we have only reflected taxonomy-relevant publications issued before January 31, 2022.

For the year 2021, adidas did not identify any taxonomy-eligible turnover. However, adidas performed an analysis to identify the proportion of taxonomy-eligible (i.e., what has the potential to be classified as ‘sustainable’) operating expenses (‘OPEX’) and capital expenditure (‘CAPEX’) that can be linked to the first two environmental objectives with reference to the total values according to the EU taxonomy definitions. The taxonomy provides different definitions of the terms ‘OPEX’ and ‘CAPEX’ than what we are disclosing in this report.

  • ‘OPEX KPI’: The taxonomy definition of ‘OPEX’ including expenditure for research and development, short-term leases, maintenance and repair costs as well as other expenditure2 results in a total value of € 692 million (denominator of the ‘OPEX KPI’) at adidas. In comparison to the disclosed € 21.234 billion of net sales and € 8.892 billion of ‘OPEX’ in this report, we consider the EU Taxonomy ‘OPEX’ value as insignificant with regard to our business model. Consequently, and in line with the regulation, we are not publishing the numerator of the ‘OPEX KPI.‘ The information would not add significant value to the reader of this report, as, for example, our expenditure for research and development would not be considered taxonomy-eligible at this point. At the current stage, the numerator would only include activities such as the renovation of buildings and professional services related to the energy performance of buildings, etc. As a result of these considerations, we report an ‘OPEX KPI’ numerator value of € 0.
  • ‘CAPEX KPI’: In comparison to the disclosed CAPEX value of € 667 million in this report, the taxonomy definition of ‘CAPEX’ results in a total value of € 1.188 billion (denominator of the ‘CAPEX KPI’) at adidas. The denominator contains, in accordance with the definition of the EU Taxonomy and as disclosed in this report, additions to buildings, technical equipment and machinery, other equipment, furniture and fixtures, right-of-use assets, and other intangible assets, before depreciation, amortization and re-measurements. For the calculation of the numerator of the ‘CAPEX KPI’ we analyzed the additions and allocated them to activities listed in Annex 1 and 2 of the regulation, where eligible. In this process we conducted several control measures such as plausibility checks as well as reconciliations to avoid double-counting of additions. The numerator of the ‘CAPEX KPI’ amounts to € 604 million and mainly contains eligible expenditure in relation to leasing, the construction and the renovation of buildings, as well as the company car fleet, all related to the first environmental objective ‘climate change mitigation’ (Annex 1). Consequently, the ‘CAPEX KPI’ results in 51% of taxonomy-eligible and 49% of non-eligible activities.

Within our strategy ‘Own the Game,’ sustainability builds a strategic focus area and we are committed to pushing the boundaries going forward, which is reflected in the ambitious targets and numerous initiatives outlined in this report.

1 Taxonomy-eligible economic activity’ means an economic activity that is described in the delegated acts adopted pursuant to Article 10(3), Article 11(3), Article 12(2), Article 13(2), Article 14(2), and Article 15(2), of Regulation (EU) 2020/852, irrespective of whether that economic activity meets any or all of the technical screening criteria laid down in those delegated acts. ‘Taxonomy-non-eligible economic activity’ means any economic activity that is not described within these delegated acts. For 2021, adidas is only required to report on the proportion of taxonomy-eligible and non-eligible economic activities of net sales, CAPEX and OPEX.

2 By ‘other expenditure,’ we mean expenditure for facility management services, i.e., expenditure relating to the day-to-day servicing of property, plant, and